La Romita has kicked off its 2018 season with a poetry retreat led by Kim Addonizio. Kim, the author of six poetry collections, two novels and two collections of short fiction, has received numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award. Her poetry is sensuous and street-wise. Her writing about writing is insightful and precise. She is the perfect teacher of poetry and the consummate poet.

“Poetry is an intimate act. It’s about bringing forth something that’s inside you—whether it is a memory, a philosophical idea, a deep love for another person or for the world, or an apprehension of the spiritual. It’s about making something, in language, which can be transmitted to others—not as information, or polemic, but as irreducible art.”
-Kim Addonizio, The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry

As she discusses poetry with her students she always demonstrates what her poetry actually means. An act that seems so private, an act that displays the uniqueness of language itself, is actually the most profound and intimate mode of communication.

“There are only two useful rules I can think of for aspiring writers: learn your craft, and persist. The rest, as Henry James said, is the madness of art.”
— Kim Addonizio, in Contemporary Authors

Kim’s friend Moira Egan, whose most recent collection, Synæsthesium, won The New Criterion Poetry Prize, lives nearby in Rome, and hosted our group for a tour of some of Rome’s hidden treasures. She then returned to La Romita on our bus to give a talk and a reading from her new book. Serendipity certainly plays its part in the dynamic of each of our arts workshops, but one of our goals is to sometimes give it a little push. That most of our participants report life-changing experiences is no accident.


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